BA in Computer Science

The BA in computer science prepares students for a world in which programming is not just about computers anymore. From cars to coffeemakers, software enables much of our daily lives. Demand for undergraduates with degrees in computer science therefore remains exceptionally strong. The BA in computer science will teach you the theory and methods of computer science, including how to apply these to real-world applications.

Advances in computing do not happen in a vacuum, and the BA in computer science will allow you to pair your knowledge of programming languages and algorithms with a broad foundation in the scientific, social, economic, and cultural trends that drive creative innovation in the field. The BA program allows you to complement your studies in a department that has longstanding and productive industry ties with a broad liberal education that will leave you ready to pursue a professional career right out of the gate.

Students earning the BA in computer science routinely supplement their coursework with internship and work opportunities on campus and off, ensuring that they are career-ready immediately upon graduation.

Students who earn a technical GPA of at least 3.2 are guaranteed admission to the program. Other students are admitted on a space-available basis.

The BA in Computer Science

The College of Liberal Arts offers a bachelor of arts (BA) in Computer Science; it’s administered through the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the College of Science and Engineering, which also offers a bachelor of science in computer science (BS). This may be confusing, so here we explain the similarities and differences between the two options.

  • The BA and BS are equally challenging. The major courses are the same for both degrees and students from both take their classes together. The pre-requisite courses to enter the major are the same.
  • Admissions to the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science & Engineering are different; you might get into one college but not the other.
  • The structure of the degrees are slightly different. The BA has more flexibility if you want to pursue multiple interests, allowing space in your degree plan for breadth and depth; the BS degree program offers opportunities to take additional computer science and technical courses.
  • The BA degree requires proficiency in a second language.

The Liberal Arts Advantage

Students who choose the BA degree have the option to add relevant minors to their major and their electives will help them develop skills that employers look for, above and beyond technical skills developed in the major courses. These core career competencies include:

CLA's Core Career Competencies
  • Analytical & Critical Thinking
  • Applied Problem Solving
  • Ethical Reasoning & Decision Making
  • Innovation & Creativity
  • Oral & Written Communication
  • Teamwork & Leadership
  • Engaging Diversity
  • Active Citizenship & Community Engagement
  • Digital Literacy
  • Career Management

Consider your own interests and career goals and consult with an advisor when deciding whether to apply to the College of Liberal Arts (for the BA) or College of Science & Engineering (for the BS). Both degrees will prepare you well for your future.